The One Thing
Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.
When race car driver Katherine Legge slips on her racing suit and gets behind the wheel of her red and white Honda No. 44, she’s ready for anything. The British driver is participating in her third Indy 500 race on Sunday, May 28 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing—her first trip to the track since 2013. While it may have been a decade since Legge took on the legendary 500-mile race, she’s up for the challenge.
Racing is a male-dominated sport; only 10 women have driven in the Indy 500 since the late ‘70s, including Legge. “For me, it’s an honor to be one of 33 drivers competing, male or female, in this year’s race,” she tells Byrdie. “It’s also certainly an honor to have the responsibility of representing girl power at the Indy 500 too.”
This year, Legge partnered with e.l.f. Skin for her pre-race skincare and (most importantly) sunscreen needs, curating a vegan and cruelty-free routine that keeps her skin happy behind the wheel. "I've always said I've just wanted to be a racecar driver—and that the car doesn't know the difference," Legge said in a release announcing the partnership. "However, I also understand that motorsports is possibly the only professional sport where men and women can compete on an even playing field, and it's important that I do my part to help create equality and inclusion. Representation matters, which is why I'm thrilled to align with e.l.f. Skin, a brand that champions these same values."
Byrdie caught up with Legge before the Indy 500 to find out her pre-race routine, the waterproof mascara she’ll be wearing under her helmet, and how she unwinds after such a high-octane event.
The One Skincare Product She Swears By
"Sunscreen, without question. I never not wear it. I recommend the e.l.f. Skin Suntouchable! Whoa Glow SPF 30 ($14). We are out in the sun a lot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the lead up to the Indy 500, so it’s really important to wear sunscreen. Especially this month, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month; it’s vital to have the conversation and remind everyone to put SPF on.”
The One Makeup Product That's Always In Her Bag
"No matter where I’m at, or what I’m doing—and even with my race helmet on—you won’t catch me without my mascara and eyeliner on! I like to think it accentuates the intensity that I attack my day with. E.l.f. Big Mood Volumizing Mascara ($8) is my daily option, but for Indy 500 race day (or when you are going to be active or if it’s going to be raining) I grab the Big Mood Waterproof Mascara ($8). It’s truly the best!”
The One Skincare Step She Never Skips
“Moisturizing, especially as I’ve gotten older. It’s so important that your skin is nourished. I try and be super disciplined about always feeding my skin. I like the e.l.f. SKIN Pure Skin Moisturizer ($12)— [I love] the amazing antioxidants it contains, the vitamins, and my skin feels so hydrated after I use it. I love that it has clean ingredients like oat milk, because I’m a proud vegan athlete.”
The One Thing She Does Every Morning
“Definitely my green juice with vitamins and collagen.”
The One Thing She Does On Race Day
“I always start any day with my green juices, then coffee, and race day is no different. After that I sorta get into the zone of getting my kit ready: preparing my helmet, checking my earphones, firesuit, gloves, that sorta thing.”
The One Song That Gers Her Hyped For a Race
"[I don't usually have a specific song], but I heard Janet Jackson’s 'Someone to call my lover' on the radio this week and it made me download that album. It’s the most recent on my playlist and sounds like a great pick to get me pumped up for the race!"
The One Thing She Does to Stay Grounded
“I spend time with the people I love, and that includes my dog, Barley! I’m not a pro-athlete to them, just Katherine.”
The One Thing She Does to Unwind After a Race
“[I start by] showering and then go into my skincare ritual, adding some moisturizer. Then I make a tea—I am English after all!”